We're Turning 5!

blog.png

We’re turning 5 next week on March 2nd, and we’re feeling all kinds of nostalgic! Read on as we take you through the little journey of where The Urban Canning Company started and where it is now.

YEAR 1 (2014)

In March 2014, The Urban Canning Company was founded by owner, Illene Sofranko. We had lots of different jam and pickle variations, a few of which have become our core product line. From special fruits, or Jam of the Month Club, sometimes we’ll bring back old jam flavors, and it’s always so fun!

We also started our first collaboration that year with Green Bench Brewing Co, a local brewery. We started using their beer in our beer mustards, and the rest is history! They were also our first retailer to carry us on their shelves, and you can still find our Sweet German and Spicy Stout beer there today!

YEAR 2 (2015)

We quickly outgrew our commercial kitchen and moved into a kitchen on Central Ave with a small business friend. As we grew, we started needing to hire our first crew! We hired a small market crew, and one of them, Sam, eventually became our first kitchen manager.

Markets quickly became one of the main ways you could find us around the Tampa Bay area, and we started traveling to other bigger markets in other states like Chicago, and South Carolina.

YEAR 3 (2016)

Within that last year we had started to grow out of the kitchen space again and knew it was time to find our own home. We signed a lease to our kitchen on 4th Street, and got to work on the inside. After months of work and stress we were finally able to open our shop and production kitchen!

That meant we could start hosting and having workshops and classes. Our first workshop with with O’Berry’s Succulents, doing a wreath workshop! Now you will find classes on jam making, pickling, canning, bee keeping and more.

We really expanded our wholesale program and were accepted into a great number of retailers in and out of state! We also discovered our love from creating coffee syrups and started collaborating with Bandit Coffee Co. You can still find our syrups there today! Have you tried a Bouquet Latte or a Maple Walnut Latter yet?

YEAR 4 (2017)

At the beginning of the year we launched what is now one of our top selling products, Jam of the Month Club! ( We almost have 100 members now!) A club where founder/owner Illene could use her elevated palette and creativity to come up with super exclusive jams you can only get in the club.

We expanded our online store to include our canned products and opened up shipping to all of the continental United States! We also started our recipe blog currently found on our site where you can find recipes made with our products. We post about one or two new recipes every week!

Towards the end of the year, we started another fun coffee syrup collab with our good friends at Union by Commune and Co at Armature Works. We created their top-selling latte syrup Horchata, and a specialty Coffee Cola syrup you can get on tap. Each season we create new syrups, so check it out now to see what’s on the menu!

YEAR 5 (2018)

Most of year five was very difficult for us. We experienced a lot of hardships many small businesses do, and it threatened to shut us down. But through re-focusing, hard work, and team work, we came out the other side more inspired and doing well.

Very excitingly we launched our new branding and labels! These were labels that included barcodes and nutrition facts. They updated our look, and allowed us to get into grocery stores. Speaking of those, we were able to get into some local grocery stores that were only dreams at one point. You can now find us in both Rollin’ Oats, Nature’s Food Patch, and Lucky’s Markets in St. Pete, and all 4 in Orlando!

Good Things Coming In Year 6

We don’t plan on slowing down, and you’re going to start seeing some very exciting things coming from us this year, like:

  • online workshops (out of state friends rejoice!)

  • canning e-books (yup you ready that right)

  • packaging our coffee syrups for retail

  • launching a lifestyle canning blog featuring education, recipes, city guides, drinks and so much more

We can’t wait for you all to join us in this next year, but for now, let’s celebrate!

xoxo,
The Ladies of Urban Canning

Honeybell Pickin' Farm Trip

JjpKpL-Q.jpg

We’re pretty lucky that winter in Florida typically means sunny days, breezy wind, and golden orange citrus. This week we took a trip out to Dooley Groves to hand pick some special home-grown honeybells for February’s Jam of the Month!

We spent a beautiful day out in the groves plucking the JUICIEST honeybells from the trees. There’s nothing like spending a day on the farm and then preserving it at it’s peak. This month’s Jam of the Month will feature these oranges in a Creamsicle Marmalade that will have you feeling like a kid again. We took honeybell oranges, and fresh vanilla bean to create this and we can’t WAIT for you all to try! Not a member of the Jam of the Month Club? You can sign up here!

Have you ever done a U-Pick in Florida? It’s about the time of year where you can pick all kinds of fruit for yourselves like strawberries, blueberries, citrus, blackberries, and more! We love to take advantage of Florida’s fruit season. You can find U-Pick farms in your area by clicking on the county of your preference below. Happy picking!

Hillsborough County
Pasco County
Manatee County
Polk County
Sarasota County

Urban Canning's Guide To: Nashville

unnamed-1.jpg

We just got back from a trip to one of our favorite cities: Nashville! We've been a few times now, we visit for Porter Flea every summer – and we figured it was high time we share some of our must-do's and must-try's with you! Nashville is a bustling and fun city full of delicious food, drinks, culture, and southern charm.

Traveling there soon? We hope our guide will help you find some incredible spots to make your trip more special. We know we're already counting down until the next time we can go!


COFFEE

You can't start a trip off right without some GOOD coffee. We found a few coffee shops that were great, but our two favorites are Barista Parlor, and Crema.

Barista Parlor (pictured above) in East Nashville is an unassuming find that is located in a old renovated car garage with lots of industrial accents. There is nothing unassuming about the coffee however; we've found our favorite coffee lattes here many times over! This time we got to try the Thai Lemongrass latte with perfectly made espresso, condensed milk, and a homemade lemongrass syrup. But that deliciousness aside, would ya just look at that beautiful orchid they used as a garnish?

Centennial Park

One of our favorite moments of the trip had us stopping at Crema for a homemade chai latte and heading over to Centennial Park for a chill morning underneath the shade of a tree and views of the Parthenon.


FOOD

Ya'll know food is our MOST favorite part, right?! It's basically a pastime and sport in one over here. We've included some of the BEST places to get food that'll have you going back to Nashville over and over again for more. Some are old Nashville institutions, most have you waiting in line, but ALL are worth it.

unnamed.jpg

We headed here our first night in Nashville after a long day of driving for a festive pick-me-up. This taco dive is an annual haunt for us with fried plantains you can eat like candy, fried avocado tacos, homemade tortilla soup, and margaritas (we got ours smoky with mezcal). They even have quick pickled carrots, onions, and jalapeños! Everything is made by hand and you can tell by the freshness, flavor, and insane popularity! Just don't forget your cash, like we did!  

unnamed-3.jpg

Dino's is Nashville's oldest dive bar with the most delicious late night eats. If you aren't getting the cheeseburger, you aren't living! Dino's is a must-do if you're looking for an easy brunch on the weekends, casual drunk munchies, or anything in between.

Hot chicken is a Nashville institute on its own, but Prince's Hot Chicken is the best version of it. Prince's is an original and the batter and spices cannot be beat by any other hot chicken joint in the city. The line may be long, but the chicken is well worth it!

unnamed-2.jpg

We're pretty sure you can tell by the name that you're going to love it! It's everything you want country family comfort food to be! Arnold's features a meat and 3 offering. As you go through a cafeteria style buffet, you choose one meat, and three southern perfected sides. As if you need any more convincing, Arnold's received the James Beard American Classics Award in 2009!

unnamed-1.jpg

Hattie B's is another well known hot chicken institution in Nashville. While it is more commercialized than all of the others, we have no regrets about waiting in line. This chicken is fried to crispy perfection, and all of the sides are fantastic; hello pimento mac & cheese! And if you're brave enough to try Hattie B's special sauce, let us just warn you from experience, there's nothing hotter on this earth! Proceed with 911 on speed dial! 


HONKY TONKS

What would a trip to Nashville be without experiencing some honky tonk on Broadway? We listed our two favorite bars from our day out on the town.

Tootsie's Orchid Lounge

If you're ready for a good time then Tootsie's is your place. This honky tonk bar has 3 levels of constant live music! We really loved the top level where everyone was dancing and singing with the full band taking requests. While everyone was so talented, the fiddler on the bar could have kept us there for hours!

Robert's Western World

This bar really had us in love. Robert's Western World is a much more relaxed scene. Old cowboy boots line the walls, and signed photographs and dollar bills fill the empty spaces. We couldn't get enough of the band that was playing! We got to hear original songs, folk tunes, classics, and even some Cajun.

"Pay your dues and you play for free,

And you pray for a honky-tonk destiny,

You cut your teeth in the smoky bars,

And live off the tips from a pickle jar” Jason Aldean’s “Crazy Town.”

That about wraps it up! We hope we've given you some ideas on what to do in Nashville, or inspired you to visit!

We wanna know! Have you been to Nashville? What were some of your favorite spots to visit?


If you've had a chance to use our preserves in a dish or want to share a canning recipe with us use hashtag #theurbancanningco and find us on Instagram @theurbancanningco. To see a list of our markets and events head over to our Market's + Events page or Shop Online! Cheers!

Farm Visit: Blackberry Pickin' at Bramble Creek Farms

By now you've probably heard about our day trip to Bramble Creek Farms between our Jam of the Month Club, Blackberry Honey Jack class, and just plain love for blackberries! We had a much needed relaxing, slow, southern day where we took our time picking (and eating quite a few) blackberries. When we'd picked all we could, we spent some time feeding the cows, and taking in the sweet smell of all the jasmine blossoms. We even found a little babbling creek in shade!

Later in the day we met up with the farmers Ann and Gene. They were so friendly and invited us to sip blackberry wine and chat on the porch! There's nothing like some relaxing porch talking and rocking chair rocking. 

Bramble Creek farms also carries honey from a local beekeeper, and homemade goat milk soap! It's definitely worth packing the family up and making a day trip out it! But hurry, because blackberry season doesn't last much longer. Happy picking! UPDATE: They have had to close their season early! Please check their website for next year's season updates!

Father's Day Gift Guide

Dad's can be hard to shop for! But most Dad's are pretty easy to please with food. So we put together different trios of preserves you can bundle for your Dad based on his specific tastes. Remember, if you purchase any three of our preserves in-store or at the markets, you get one jar half off! (3 for $25)

Photo Jun 06, 4 28 38 PM_preview.jpg

For the Beer Lover

If your Dad would prefer to spend weekends at one of the awesome craft breweries we have, then this bundle is perfect for him! Our two mustards are made with beer from Green Bench Brewery. Sweet German will be sweet with some spice, and the Spicy Stout will bring the heat with chili flakes and black pepper. And while they're sipping on their favorite beer, Habanero Dills will hit that spicy, snacking spot!

Photo Jun 06, 4 30 06 PM_preview.jpg

For the Pickle Person

Give your Dad something to snack on when he opens the fridge! This combo of pickles hits all the flavors he could ask for. Our Chili Brussels, will make even a brussels sprouts hater fall in love with it's super savory cumin and chili pepper (seriously, they're that good). Sriracha Okra, is full of sweet smokiness, with a little bit of heat, and essential in a Bloody Mary. Finally Habanero Dills, bring some REAL heat and the perfect amount of garlic. We'd like to see him eat more than one at a time!

Photo Jun 06, 4 31 47 PM_preview.jpg

For the Spice Guy

This is for the Dad who says there's never too much heat! We rounded up our spiciest preserves to make his tastebuds dance. Again, we have Habanero Dills (we've never met a Dad who DIDN'T love these), they are definitely our spiciest preserve and and spice lover will eat these up! Pear Habanero is a wonderful jam that is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. It also happens to be amazing for grilling any and all kinds of protein. Top it all off with our Spicy Stout mustard and your spice guy is going to be satisfied!

Photo Jun 06, 4 34 31 PM_preview.jpg

For the Sweet Tooth

Not all Dads prefer savory or spicy things! These jams are for the Dad who prefers all things sweet! We rounded up our sweet and delicious jams, that are great for morning toast, quick PB+J lunches, or in an after work cocktail. Caramel Apple will remind him of his Mom's apple pie, while Peppered Strawberry is fresh and sweet, and Chai Grape will brighten his mornings.

We hope you find these bundles helpful! 

Urban Tips: Orange Peel House Cleaner

F903F5AB-EDEA-4823-957D-8B9539A1C61E.JPG

Here at the kitchen we end up with a lot of compost and we are constantly trying to figure out ways to reuse our food scraps! One of our favorite ways to reuse orange, lemon or lime peels (or even after you squeeze the juice out of them just the whole used citrus piece) is to make all-purpose house cleaner with them! Not only is this recipe for home made cleaner better for the environment, it's cheaper than most other products on the market and it's healthier for you and your family! 

Orange Peel All-Purpose House Cleaner

Ingredients:

  • Left over citrus peels or scraps
  • White Vinegar
  • Essential Oils; We used Pine, Rosemary and Lemon

Equipment:

  • 1 large mason jar, we used a 1 gallon jar
  • Measuring cups
  • Funnel
  • Dropper for essential oils
  • Spray Bottles 

Instructions:

  1. Save your citrus peels or scraps. As you save them up add them to the large mason jar.
  2. Cover the peels with enough white vinegar to reach the top of the peels. 
  3. Close the jar with a lid and allow it to sit for at least 2 weeks. Our's sit for months! As we collect more citrus scraps we just add it to the jar and cover with more vinegar if needed.
  4. After it's cured for as least 2 weeks it's ready to use! 
  5. To fill an 8 oz spray bottle we mix 1 cup water with 1 cup citrus vinegar using a funnel.
  6. To the spray bottle add 5 drops of each essential oil; Pine, rosemary and lemon.

You can use this All-Purpose Cleaner for anything, including floors!

For a list of other essential oils you can use in cleaning click here!

B849C9C2-72EF-4D42-A45C-E67BF1E37607.JPG

If you've had a chance to use our preserves in a dish or want to share a canning recipe with us use hashtag #theurbancanningco and find us on Instagram @theurbancanningco. To see a list of our markets and events head over to our Market's + Events page or Shop Online! Cheers!

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mom's deserve more than just flowers on their big day, and let's be real, you all are foodies, so we have have a good feeling your Mom's are too! We put together different trios of preserves you can bundle for your Mom based on her specific tastes. 

P.S. But be sure to scroll to the bottom for exciting news about a special Mother's Day Jam to be released next week!

unnamed.jpg

For the Sweet Tooth Mama

If your mom has an undeniable sweet tooth, delight her with our sweetest jams for her morning toasts, ice cream, desserts, and so much more. Caramel Apple + Sea Salt, Blueberry Lavender Vanilla, and Chai Red Grape are just some of our favorites!

unnamed-1.jpg

For the Spicy Mama

Some like it hot! So if your Mom falls into this category, delight her taste buds with a collection of our spiciest jam, pickle, and mustard. Garlic Dill Habanero Cucumbers are sure to bring the fire, Pear Ginger Habanero jam will sweeten and burn to perfection on a goat cheese log with crackers, and our Spicy Brown Stout Beer Mustard will make a tingly dressing or sandwich topper!

unnamed-2.jpg

For the Sweet + Savory Mama

For the Mom with that sweet + salty combo taste, we recommend our sweet and slightly savory Smoked Paprika Tomato + Basil jam. Adding on our savory Chili + Fennel Brussels Sprout for a salty snack crunch, and our Sweet German IPA Beer Mustard for a sweet and spicy kick, will be sure to hit all of her favorite flavor profiles!

IMG_3101.JPG

For the DIY Mama

Maybe your Mom likes to get out there and learn new things! We created a special class on Mother's Day for the special lady in your life. It's also a fun class to take with her for some Mother/Daughter time (hint, hint). We'll be learning how to make a delicious cashew nut cheese, and blueberry jam. The afternoon will be spent cooking, snacking, and laughing. You can purchase tickets here!

But don't miss out...

ACS_0018.JPG

NEW: Limited Chocolate Bouquet Jam

We're so inspired by our Mom's we couldn't let this holiday pass without making a special jam just for her. Next week, we'll be releasing our limited batch Mother's Day jam: Chocolate Bouquet Jam!! Filled with fresh blueberries, our favorite Pinellas Chocolate, and flower buds, we think your Mom would feel pretty special opening this up on Mother's Day! Grab this delight starting next Tuesday in our tasting room and market next week, OR preorder now for shipment by Wednesday 5/9 (cut off for preorders will be Monday 5/7)! 

Make Your Best Picnic Ever!

Photo Apr 19, 3 49 01 PM_preview.jpg

It's one of our favorite times of the year where it's warm and sunny, but still cool and breezy enough that you want to be outside ALL the time. This weather has had us inspired to get together with our friends and create the best picnic. How strong is your picnic game? If it's been a while since you've gathered for one, we have our three top tips to get you planning!

1. GOOD FOOD

Ok, this goes without saying, but sometimes it's hard to know what to pack when you're going to be eating on the ground. Our answer is: finger food, and lots of it. Snacking is one of the easiest ways to enjoy a meal with friends, but also be portable too. And you're in luck, because this is our specialty. We brought along some of our standard favorites like Sriracha Peppered Okra, Chili Fennel Brussels, and Garlic Habanero Cucumbers. For a little seasonality, we also brought along Herbed Summer Squash (limited batches at markets and in-store now).

Gather different cheeses, meats, jams, nuts, fruit, crackers, and our German IPA Beer Mustard to make a beautiful but simple charcuterie board. If you're new to cheese and meat boards, we can help you learn how to build a board to perfection! 

Another one of our favorite picnic snacks to bring are cheese logs. We love a good cheese smothered in jam and topped with fresh herbs and nuts. You can check out a couple recipes here and here for ideas.

2. GOOD DRINKS

You obviously can't enjoy good food without good drinks! We love a fizzy spritzer on a warm and sunny day. Have you tried our Blueberry Lavender Jam Gin Fizz? Because if not, put it on your list to bring. It's cold, refreshing, and dare we say, one of the easiest drinks to make! P.S. You gotta try our Strawberry Balsamic + Cracked Pepper jam in drinks and with goat cheese.

If you want to stick with water, don't go plain. Add some fresh fruit and herbs to your water pitcher a couple hours before your picnic for infused water! We have some mouthwatering infused water recipes here.

3. GOOD FRIENDS

The most important element to the best picnic ever, is friends. Food and drink don't matter as much when you have your best friends by your side laughing and catching up. That's really the sweetest part of life right? Let's celebrate this weather, our friends, and the opportunity to nosh on some good food.

Happy Picnic-ing friends! Tag us with your picnic adventures, we'd love to see what you create. #theurbancanningco


If you've had a chance to use our preserves in a dish or want to share a canning recipe with us use hashtag #theurbancanningco and find us on Instagram @theurbancanningco. To see a list of our markets and events head over to our Market's + Events page or Shop Online! Cheers!